Originally Posted by FryBoy
... he just puts a whole chicken in a 450 degree Faranheit oven (230 C) for 50 minutes, until the skin is crispy and brown and the juices that accumulate in the cavity (inside the bird) are no longer pink, then serves it... http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/brining.html
Couldn't agree more. If ever there were an easy dinner, a whole chicken shoved in the oven is it!
My best way to cook the entire Sunday dinner at once (to free me up to iron, oh joy) is to peel and cut potatoes and plunk them in the bottom of a large roasting pan, sautee some okra 'til browned and plunk them in a corner of the same pan, then shove a whole chicken (thawed fully or mostly, rinsed and innards emptied out) on top. Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the veggies and then the juice of a couple of fresh lemons. Salt, pepper and whatever other spices turn you on (rosemary's nice).
-- Shove it in a hot oven. How hot? Somewhere around 200 (C, not F!).
-- Whatever side you started with, once the upper side browns a bit, flip it over to brown the underside. Do this a couple of times ... or once. Turn the veggies at the same time.
-- Baste a couple of times ... or not. Add some water if the juices dry out (they may be key to keeping the chicken moist -- dunno, never done it without!).
Cook until juices run clear, yes, and/or until you can wiggle the drumstick and it's really loose (or even comes off in your hand if you absolutely don't want underdone chicken). The potatoes should be done perfectly at about the same time (the veggies will be gloriously overcooked ... the one time I really love them that way!).
I'm another one who's done this for years and years without the benefit of brining or a meat thermometer or anything else fancy, and I swear my chicken is always tender and juicy with yummy crispy skin outside.
There ARE recipes which require paying a lot of attention to technique, quantities, timing, etc. -- but this isn't one of them!!
Good luck. Really, it's hard to go very wrong.